Leaving LA had been a lot easier than I’d anticipated.
For one, Kevin hadn’t bothered me the next morning like he normally did, and it gave me free reign to tie up some loose ends and leave the house with a couple of suitcases.
The drive to the airport had been awful, LA traffic at its finest, and once I got that I parked my car in the short stay car park, got my bags out, shoved the keys in an envelope and as soon as I found a mailbox in the airport I mailed out several letters, all saying the same thing.
I was leaving. I’ll be fine. Don’t try to find me.
I knew one person would be hell bent on finding me, which was why I was glad he’d left me be that morning, so I could make sure I left no trace of where I was going in my condo.
I was leaving Kevin my car, my condo, and everything that had been my life before this moment., including half of my money.
I didn’t want to be that guy anymore.
The decision on where to go hadn’t been easy, which was why it had taken me so long to make a choice. I wanted to go somewhere I could feel normal, where people would leave me alone and I could live a new life. Places like Asia and South America were a big no no, as were places like Germany, Spain and Italy.
But then I came across a website talking about foreign students enrolling in university in the UK, and the thought struck me. I had my high school diploma, but apart from that, and a music career, I had nothing.
Maybe I could make myself become something.
I did my research, looking at different classes, universities, and then places to live. It all would work out quite expensive and my original plan had been to take next to no money with me. So I ended up paying for the university in full, my flights, and taking a decent amount of money from my main account and putting it in a new account for when I get over there.
Oxford University welcomes international students, so enrolling had been easy. I’d had to take a test before finding out if I got in, and for that I waited in baited breath, only to find out I was accepted.
Me, accepted into University!
The only thing that was going to be a challenge was finding somewhere to live. I’d looked at house prices over in the UK, and it was expensive. Being that I wanted to be normal, I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money as I wanted to fit in, so I did what everyone else did.
And put in to share a house with a bunch of students.
I would be living not far from the university, and a bus ride to the city center. It was going to be weird adapting, but I would do it.
I had to do it.
I was tired and cranky by the time I landed in Heathrow airport. It was in the middle of the day, and heaving with people. I’d been stuck at customs for a while, showing them all my documents and visas indicating I was living in the UK. I think the guy had it in for me as my passport was stamped heavily. But still, the moment I got through and was able to collect my cases I was relieved.
Until I realized I had no one picking me up, no car to drive, and I was going to have to find my way to Oxford. Alone.
I think I stood in the airport a good ten minutes just wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself in for when I realized I needed to snap out of it, and head to the travel information counter. They’d be able to tell me where to go.
I shoved my baseball cap on my head before dragging both cases behind me. There was a bit of a queue, and I tried to wait as patiently as I could.
I clearly wasn’t used to being normal.
Eventually I made it to the counter.
“Hi, How can I help?”
I looked at the pretty brunette sitting behind the desk all smartly dressed and sighed. “I’ve just arrived from LA, and totally realized I have no way in getting to Oxford. Is there anyway you can help?”
The brunette looked at me a moment before smiling. “Sure, so you’re heading to Oxford. What you’ll need to do is take the elevator down to the underground, and get on the Picadilly line train towards London. Your best bet would be to take an overground train from Kings cross to Oxford. You’ll need to buy yourself a travel card, and then an additional ticket at Kings Cross to Oxford. That any help?”
I stared at the girl like she was crazy before shaking my head. “Any chance you can write that down for me?”
She quietly nodded before doing so, whilst my head swam with the information. “Here you go sir, anything else I can help with?”
“No.. thanks.” I took the piece of paper, gripping it in one hand as I took both handles of my case and walked away.
I found the elevator for the underground, and waited there with a big group of other people.
I prayed I wouldn’t get lost.
It was 9pm when I climbed out the taxi cab I’d taken at the train station. I looked up at the three bedroom house I was going to be sharing with two other guys for the next year and sighed.
“Need help with your cases?”
I looked up at the driver and shook my head before paying him and watching him drive away.
This was it.
I grabbed both handles and dragged the cases up the small garden path. There was a little front garden, with a small patch of grass, and nothing else. The front door was white, with a small window that only a tall person could see through, and a small knocker on the front. I went to knock on the door when it swung open.
“You must be Nick! Welcome mate! We’ve been waiting for you!”
The guy must have been no older than 20, and was holding a can of beer in his hands.
“Yup, I’m Nick… you are?”
“Darren! Here, let me get your other case.” He literally tore one of my cases from my hands and pulled it inside. He sat it on the floor by the staircase as I shut the door. “You’re the last to arrive. I was first, so naturally I picked a bedroom first. Ste, who arrive a few hours after me, picked his room, so sorry mate.. you’re left with the one we didn’t want.”
I shrugged. “It’s no problem.” I could smell cigarettes from upstairs, and instantly I craved one. It had been a long day. “I think I might shower then go to bed.”
“Sure, mate. You had a long flight right?”
“Something like that.” I lifted one of my cases up, ready to take the stairs. “It was great meeting you.”
“Likewise! Here, let me help with your other case and show you you’re room.”
I followed Darren up the stairs. He didn’t seem to stop talking the whole time, and I wondered if he was just being overly nice, or if he was just genuinely friendly.
“Ste! Nick is here!” Darren yelled at one of the closed doors.
I frowned and looked at Darren.
“He’s a little quiet.” Darren replied before opening a door and walking inside. “Welcome to you’re bedroom.”
I stepped inside and looked around. A small desk sat under the window, and there was a single bed in one corner, with a dresser opposite. The room wasn’t big, it was pretty damn small. But I didn’t need much room. “Thanks.”
“No problem! You want a beer, I’ve got some downstairs.. just give me a shout!” Darren patted my arm before leaving the room and I quickly shut, and locked the door before leaning against it.
Welcome home, Nick.